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Mercedes-Benz stays on top of US luxury car sales in the first nine months of 2017

With three more months to go before the year ends, three premium auto companies are jousting their way up to see which of them could claim the crown as the best-selling luxury carmaker in the United States for 2017 – Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.

Mercedes-Benz managed to hold on to the US No. 1 spot after nine months of sales. From January to September, Mercedes delivered 242,250 luxury vehicles, excluding its vans and smart-branded models. This figure represents a 2.8-percent year-on-year drop in sales compared to the first nine months of 2016, when Mercedes delivered 249,204 premium units in the US.

Mercedes-Benz continued to lead the US luxury race even after posting dismal sales in September 2017. The carmaker suffered a sales decline in the month – by 1.7 percent – making it the only luxury brand that didn’t registered a surge in September 2017. Figure-wise, Mercedes delivered 29,008 units in September 2017 in the US, compared to 29,500 luxury vehicles sold in the same month in 2016.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz stays on top of US luxury car sales in the first nine months of 2017

Investment analyst foresees Tesla Model 3 market domination over BMW 3 Series

Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya has presumed the entire (BMW 3 Series) business will “go to zero” judging by the number of pre-orders made for Tesla Model 3. Appearing on CNBC’s Fast Money Half Time Report, Palihapitiya claims that orders for the 3 Series are already being hit significantly by Tesla’s more affordable EV, adding that people do not know anything about the level of demand surrounding the popular Tesla Model. Adam Jones of Morgan Stanley has opposed the claim, citing both political and international contexts to the businesses.

Palihapitiya is a former member of Facebook’s senior executive team and has just attended the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York last September 12. Earlier this week, the investment analyst pointed out there is not one person in his right mind who would choose BMW 3 Series over Tesla.

Despite this, BMW i3 has received a makeover in the hopes of competing with Tesla’s long ranging, lower priced sedan. The revamped i3 will be featuring a host of optional driver assistance technologies including adaptive cruise control though we know it won’t make the range any better. Like before, the i3 can only run up to 160 kilometers per charge plus it comes with an extended range of about 290 km. In contrast, the Tesla Model 3 boasts a range that goes somewhere between 350km and 500km.

Read the entire article Investment analyst foresees Tesla Model 3 market domination over BMW 3 Series

Porsche confirms Panamera sedan would soon feature rear bench seat for fifth passenger

The Porsche Panamera sporty sedan offers a dynamic drive and comfortable ride, with the capability to accommodate up to four occupants. While the Porsche Panamera is a healthy proposition for North American drivers who wanted a performance-laden sedan, it does discourage potential customers looking for a sedan that could to ferry up to five occupants at a time.

Now Porsche is looking forward to win back those customers in the United States. Klaus Zellmer, chief executive of Porsche Cars North America, told Automotive News at the Frankfurt Motor Show that the German sports car maker is making available an optional rear bench. With this option, the Porsche Panamera sedan could accommodate five occupants, instead of the usual four. However, the bench option would be made available next year, so for now, Panamera sedan customers would have to settle for the four-seater.

As designed, the Porsche Panamera sedan carries two occupants on the front (driver and front passenger) and another two on the rear cabin (individually seated rear passengers). The individual seats on the front are separated by a center console, and so are the individual seats on the rear. This basically rules out the existence of a fifth passenger in the Panamera sedan.

Read the entire article Porsche confirms Panamera sedan would soon feature rear bench seat for fifth passenger

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon breaks records, also boosts sales of other Challenger models

With all the hype surrounding the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, it seems that it will be one of the most successful vehicles from the automaker even before it hits the production line.

Dodge never doubted that people would be lining up to purchase the 840 horsepower (626 kilowatt) muscle car. But now, the automaker is pleased to reveal that the Challenger SRT Demon is getting so much attention that its capability to attract customers has trickled down to the other mainstream versions of the Challenger.

FCA's North American passenger car brands said to The Detroit News that the first ever Demon has not been built yet, but the public has been talking about the car since January this year. Moreover, all this hype has pushed sales of the Challenger up and through the roof, and that the automaker has broken sales records this year, said Tim Kuniskis.

Read the entire article 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon breaks records, also boosts sales of other Challenger models

It was in February when Ford revealed the new Fiesta ST, just before it made its official debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March. But it is not until next year that the model goes on sale in both three- and five-door variants. Today, the entry level Ford Fiesta, and the sporty ST Line trim can already be purchased in Europe. But in the United States, they will have to be content with the old Fiesta for now as the 2018 model year is set to arrive with only minor changes.

Most importantly, what people should know is that the US-spec Fiesta will retire and that the seventh generation model will not hit the stateside. This news was recently shared to us by the European Director of Ford Performance, Leo Roeks, when he was interviewed at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The automaker says that there is a low demand for this class in the United States, which led them to make the decision to eventually get rid of the Fiesta in the market. If sales are low, having large inventories would be a big problem.

In other news, Volkswagen bosses made a decision of not bringing the new Polo to the United States, including the much sexier Polo GTI. Another sad news for US customers is that Toyota will also be discontinuing the supercharged Yaris GRMN as well. In fact, the new Yaris will actually be very limited, even in Europe, where only 400 examples will be sold around the continent.

Read the entire article New Ford Fiesta ST will not be available in the United States

For those who are into pickup trucks, there’s good news as the new Renault Alaskan can now be yours as they expand to more countries in Europe. It had entered the South American market last year followed by its Colombian debut. The French automaker developed this model as an alternative to the Nissan Navara and the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, and it will be offering the one-ton pickup in Europe.

Under the hood of the Alaskan pickup is a 2.3-liter dCi diesel engine. Customers could either go for the base model with 160 horsepower (119 kilowatts) or the 190 horsepower (141 kilowatts) option. Both engines can be paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic. It has a towing capacity of 2,205 pounds (1,000 kilograms) and can haul up to 1,630 pounds (739 kilograms). The pickup is available in three driving modes including a two-wheel drive, a 4LO, or a 4H full AWD.

The functionality and performance of the Renault Alaskan are at par with competitors like the Ford Ranges and the Toyota Hilux, which are both currently out in the European market. Believe it or not, this truck can hit the 0 to 60 mile-per-hour (96 kilometers per hour) speed in only 12 seconds, before it reaches its top speed of 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour).

Read the entire article Renault Alaskan enters the European market

Emissions, emissions, emissions. We have been hearing a lot about this issue lately, and we know that automakers dread it too, as it is the worst thing that could happen right now for their business.

This time, the victim of emissions would be Mercedes-Benz and now they have to halt the production of their E350d in Germany. This is because they have to implement some changes to the 3.0 liter V6 turbodiesel so it produces less NOx emissions. The company's plan is too fit in a selective catalytic reduction system with more surface area, maximizing the company's AdBlue after-treatment fluid, but Mercedes will still inject the same amount of AdBlue in the system.

Autocar said that it will take a few weeks for Mercedes to do the engine tweaks. Currently, the 3.0 liter V6 produces 258 horsepower (192 kilowatts) and 457 pound feet (620 Newton metres) of torque. The company makes it clear that the only affected engines are the ones on sale in the market since May.

Read the entire article Emission issues now affecting Mercedes-Benz E350d models, sales stopped in Germany

We are already past the first six months of the year, and now is the time when automakers evaluate their performance within this period. Speaking of numbers, Daimler and Volkswagen are some of the largest automakers out there, being part of the top 15 worldwide rankings in 2015, where Toyota is ranked first, and VW is just behind it. But here is the thing, Daimler and VW are not at par with the levels of revenue being experienced by BMW so far this year.

Ernst & Young have been studying the numbers for the German publication Manager Magazine, and they found that BMW earned as much as €49.25 billion ($51.5 billion) in the first half of this year alone, that is equal to a profit of €5.58 billion ($6.68 billion) with a profit margin of 11.3 percent. Looking at many other figures from other automakers, no one is close to what BMW has earned in the past six months.

The analysts also compared which company came closest to BMW, and surprisingly, it was Suzuki with a profit margin of 10.3 percent. Next in line is Daimler with a 9.7 percent profit margin. In fourth and fifth place are GM and VW, respectively. If VW hasn’t been involved in the Dieselgate scandal, VW would probably still rank the highest, as seen in the past.

Read the entire article BMW is the most profitable automaker in 1st half of 2017

Volkswagen recently revealed their first ever compact crossover, namely the T-Roc. This model goes right below the Tiguan in the company’s lineup, as its smallest subcompact ever. This model is like a hybrid of an SUV and a compact hatchback, and what we know is that it will be sold in Europe before the year ends. The CUV will make its first public debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

When the T-Roc becomes available in Germany and the rest of Europe, customers will be able to choose from a number of engine options - for both gasoline and diesel. This includes a 1.0 liter, a 1.5 liter, and 2.0 liter TSI units, with 114 horsepower (85 kilowatts), 148 horsepower (110 kW), and 188 horsepower (140 kW), respectively. The first two can be had with six speed manual giving power to the front wheels, while a seven-speed dual clutch can be an option for the 1.5 liter unit. The 2.0, on the other hand can be paired with the dual-clutch box. For those who prefer driving a diesel, the T-Roc will be available in a 1.6 liter or a 2.0 liter TDI motor with the same output as the gasoline engines. For the T-Roc, entry-level models will be available in front-wheel drive, while larger engines can get an all-wheel drive option.

Initially, the company considered a plan to bring the model to the United States after the European release, but it seems like the company has changed their mind. Because now, reports say that the model will only be limited to Europe and China, and that piece of tidbit apparently came from VW insiders. This means that the United States will only be limited to the Tiguan if they want a compact model. But even with this statement, US fans should not lose hope at all, as there is still chance for a US-spec T-Roc, said Automobile Magazine. It is just a matter of when we will see one. Who knows, maybe the T-Roc’s future successor will head to North America.

Read the entire article 2018 VW T-Roc will be exclusive to Europe and China, not in the United States

German publication Handelsblatt reported that some Audi documents that were found during a raid of the German automaker’s office last March explain why thousands of vehicles are being exported to China, Korea or Japan. Apparently, the vehicles that are being exported to Asia have duplicate VINs.

As we all know, a car’s Vehicle Identification Number (or VIN) is a unique combination of 17-digit numbers that are assigned to every vehicle. With a VIN, it will be easier for one to track the vehicle throughout its lifetime. The general rule that the European Union and German laws implemented is for every car to have its own unique VIN. It is only this car that can have this number for at least 30 years, and it cannot be duplicated or transferred to another model.

After the raid, an Audi spokesperson said in an interview with the German business journal that they were not aware of the duplicated VIN number that have been assigned to more than one car.

Read the entire article Is Audi producing vehicles with duplicate VINs in Asia?

We first saw the McLaren 720S earlier this year when it made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, and we all agree that it is a beautiful car. But did you know that this particular model has already been sold out? Well, at least until 2018. You heard me right, if you plan to get a 720S this year or next, then it is already too late.

The McLaren 720S got into production in April at the company’s Woking UK facility. And since then, they have already received a total of 1,500 orders of the said model, according to Autocar. In fact, some customers even ordered two examples of the vehicle. Some of them want two, where one will be delivered before the year ends, while another example will go through some customization at McLaren’s Special Operations center.

As a refresher, the 720S will come standard with a biturbo V8 with an output of 710 horsepower (529 kilowatts), but it’s expected to still be pushed even further. In just 2.8 seconds, it can sprint to 62 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) from a standstill. The 720S also has a top speed of 212 miles per hour (341 kilometers per hour).

Read the entire article McLaren 720S is sold out through 2018, order now and get it in 2019

Did you already accept the fact that you could never get your hands on a Lexus LFA in the United States? Well, you are wrong because Lexus had just revealed that there are 12 brand new units of the LFA in US dealerships.

Detroit manufacturers did not report good sales figures from last month’s sales report. Meanwhile, the deliveries made by Japanese premium automakers Lexus, Infiniti and Acura have increased. Respectively, deliveries have increased by 3.6 percent, 9.0 percent, and 3.7 percent if you compare them to last year’s numbers.

There is even more awesome news for fans of Toyota’s luxury arm. As Autoblog looked further into Lexus’ sales figures, they noticed some interesting facts. The company has sold an LFA; one unit of the supercar was delivered in June 2017. After taking a closer look, we also learned that another six examples were delivered to customers in 2016. So how is that possible?

Read the entire article There are still 12 unsold Lexus LFAs in US dealerships years after production stopped

2017 is looking great for Ferrari as they have just announced a 24 percent profit increase in the second quarter of the year. Apart from that, they have also shipped 5.3 percent more cars within the period and recorded €920 million ($1 billion) of revenue. That is 13.5 percent more than last year's figures. The company would like to give thanks to the LaFerrari Aperta and the GTC4Lusso for breaking their own record.

In the second quarter alone, the company shipped a total of 2,322 cars - or 118 more cars from the year before. Another contributor to the profit increase would be the V12 based models, these cars took account for another 36 percent sales increase. Besides the LaFerrari Aperta and the GTC4Lusso, the F12berlinetta and the F12tdf were also some of the faster moving models. If you didn't know, these models have already been phased out as the new 812 Superfast makes its way to the market. Other models from the 488 family, the GTC4 Lusso T from 2016 and the California T, are still going strong.

The company feels that by the end of 2017, they will reach over €950 million ($1.13 billion) in profit, while CEO Sergio Marchionne suggests that it could reach about €1 billion ($1.18 billion). This is possible as the company continues its domination in the Unites States and Australia, as well as with the anticipated success of the new Hong Kong dealership. The US has already seen a 3 percent increase, and a 20.5 percent increase in Australia.

Read the entire article Business is looking good for Ferrari in 2017, profits jumped 24% in second quarter

Fans of Ferrari should prepare themselves for the eventuality that their favorite brand will be releasing in a few years an SUV, or at the very least a “utility vehicle.”

Development of this model is underway which the brand is calling, as of now, the F16X. Bloomberg reports that this new model is projected to make its official debut in 2021, given that it is expected to play a significant role in the plan to at least double company profits by the year 2022.

This will be part of a business plan spanning five years presented by CEO Sergio Marchionne. The overall goal is to increase the yearly deliveries to above 10,000 units, the current limit. Though the actual plan will still be officially fully disclosed by 2018, there is the expectation that given the stricter environmental guidelines, more hybrid models will likely be released. In the same report by Bloomberg, Ferrari believes it can attract new wealthy customers through hybrid models. Indeed, each model to be sold beginning 2019 will come with a hybrid version.

Read the entire article Ferrari hopes to double profits by 2022 with release of its first SUV

2018 Volkswagen Atlas is proving to be one of the German carmaker’s best-selling vehicles in the United States after having recently logged a full month of sales in the market. And that’s despite the fact that even some of its own designers weren’t really satisfied with its supposed boring blocky design.

But now, the US consumers have spoken and seemingly vouch for the appeal of the new 2018 VW Atlas. For the month of June 2017 alone, VW sold 27,377 vehicles in the US. That number may seem small, but it already exceeded the 23,809 units sold by VW in the same month in 2016. Of the 27,377 vehicles that VW sold in the US, 2,413 units were of the new Atlas. That means nearly one of 11 vehicles (8.8 percent) that the carmaker has delivered to customers in the country is an Atlas SUV.

To note, June 2017 marks the first full month of sales for the 2018 VW Atlas. This implies that it could be too early to determine whether the new Atlas would have a definite impact on VW’s falling SUV sales in the US. Although signs for the Atlas are positive, VW’s other SUV offerings aren’t performing well in terms of sales. In fact, only 14 percent of VW’s total sales in the first half of 2017 were utility vehicles, which should be weird considering that SUVs are now in high demand in this part of the world.

Read the entire article 2018 VW Atlas kicks off first-month sales in US and the numbers are impressive

Do you ever wonder what challenges automakers have in selling limited edition cars? It’s different for each company but it can get stressful if the demand is high instead of the other way around. For instance, Enrico Galliera, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer of Ferrari recently sent out 200 boxes each containing a key of the limited-edition LaFerrari Aperta to their preferred clients, and all 200 of them bought the new model without even knowing how it looks. It’s crazy particularly when you factor in that each vehicle has a $3.9 million price tag.

Obviously, the company has no problems when it comes to marketing its cars. In fact, it did not even have to market the car publicly and it didn’t even divulge its price. The open-roof Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta is equipped with a naturally aspirated V12 gasoline-hybrid powertrain generating 950 horsepower.

In an interview with The Drive, Ferrari said that they always have a much higher demand than their supplies. So what they do is they try and identify which of their customers deserve the limited edition car. Galliera added that he considers the LaFerrari Aperta as a gift to their best customers - even if they have to pay millions for it.

Read the entire article 2018 LaFerrari Aperta units have sold out, Ferrari is pressured to resolve long waiting lists

With all the news and the noise Dodge is making, it is definitely becoming a more popular car. And believe it or not, for the first time in seven years, the Dodge Challenger was able to outsell the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. That is a big deal considering that two months ago, it was announced that the Ford Mustang is the best-selling car in the world - at least in last year’s ratings.

Last month alone, Dodge was able to deliver 6,605 Challengers, which definitely is a huge hike from last year’s sales. The company sold 1,000 units more than it did in June 2016. For the sake of comparing, Ford sold 6,186 Mustangs which while Chevrolet only delivered 4,691 Camaros in June 2017.

While sales of the Dodge Challenger had suddenly gone up in June, we do not know if this will be a trend in the next coming months. In terms of year-to-date sales, the Ford Mustang still is at the top of the leaderboard at 44,608 units during the first two quarters of the year, followed by the Chevrolet Camaro at 36,567 units, and catching up is the Dodge Challenger with 35,910 examples sold, according to Torque News.

Read the entire article June 2017 sales of Dodge Challenger surprisingly beat Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro

France has already jumpstarted plans for a greener future. The country’s Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, Nicolas Hulot promises that by 2040, sales of diesel and gasoline fueled cars will be over. Instead of making use of fossil fuels that harm our environment, the minister opts for a transition to purely electric mobility. This is just a part of his proposed series of measures to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

To clean up the country, the minister came out with a 23-point plan that spans over six major themes. But we will already witness the implementation of some of these measures during Emmanuel Macron, France’s newly elected president’s term.

The good thing is that they have already started taking actions. Hulot developed a program wherein residents who trade in a pre-1997 diesel vehicle or pre-2001 gasoline car into an electric vehicle, or a less polluting one will be given monetary incentives. However, he has not yet specified how much the people will be receiving.

Read the entire article France aims to end sale of fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2040

Not many people got a chance to own one of the limited-run Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar. And if you are one of the few lucky ones, Andy Palmer of Aston Martin has a message to give you, and you better take him seriously.

On July 5th, Andy Palmer posted on Twitter making it clear that Valkyrie buyers should not even attempt to sell their build spot for some extra money, as these people will lose the car, and will be banned. And it doesn’t end there, as they never be able to get another special vehicle. He made it clear that they will be able to identify those who tries to flip their reservation slots. Andy Palmer wrote this as a response to a certain @woodsypedia on Twitter with regards to the proposed built slot seen on PistonHeads Classifieds.

This action by Palmer was triggered when a listing by a seller named Knight International cited an “Aston Martin Valkyrie 2019 Build Slot”. On the website, you will find “Price on Request”. However, the tweet that Palmer responded to shows a £9,999,999 ($12.9 million) price tag. How insane is that.

Read the entire article Aston Martin warns Valkyrie buyers not to sell their reservation slots

The year 2016 was a successful year for McLaren in terms of sales, but it has been on a streak and has actually broken sales records every year for the past four years. Since 2012, the company has been celebrating one milestone after another. To be more precise, the company sold a total of 3,286 cars last year, that is about double the number of what they sold in 2015 - or a 70 percent increase. These result to a sales revenue of £649.8 million ($844 million), an increase of 44 percent.

This success may be the result of the Sport Series family that was first sold to the market in 2016. In fact, the Sports Series alone delivered a total of 2,031 units, which seem to make up most of their sales. Within that range, the 570GT and 570S were the top sellers. Besides that, the Super Series was also quite a success, selling 1,255 units in 2016.

Most sales have been accounted for by the North American market, with a total of 1,139 deliveries, it significantly increased by 106 percent over 2015. As for the European market, McLaren was able to move 996 units in total, again a huge increase of 153 percent. Lastly, they sold a total of 228 cars in the Chinese market. There is a 90 percent increase for McLaren in the Asia Pacific.

Read the entire article McLaren sales doubled in 2016, CEO says growth plans are achievable and sustainable
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